Radiating Sunshine: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

What a Week

This has been my first full week back as a Residence Director, since I finished my field with Orientation. It has been a great week, but first please let me introduce the cutest little puppy to grace this blog world!
 My sister adopted this cute little puppy a few weeks back and I figured it was time that she take a selfie with her favorite aunt. Brooke's new puppy is a morkipoo and her name is Callie. She has definitely inspired my future puppy adoption (if I ever live at a university with a pet policy). Anyways, I got to hang out with this little princess over the weekend and I figured I would brighten your Thursday with a picture of this adorable little lady!

Anyways, this week has been very busy with classes and work. I started a new grad class, Group Counseling and we meet every day of the week for two hours. For the first half of the class, we cover content areas and during the second half we actually simulate a group process. I've been really enjoying the class and I'm excited to practice facilitating next week.

I've also been really busy with RA Training! During Orientation, I didn't really have any time to focus on the RAs returning. Well, now it is time to put that hat on! I've been organizing my office -- which, I'll hopefully be posting some ideas for next week, I've been meeting to plan sessions-- and a few of them are making incredible progress, and I've been contacting my RAs-- which, is definitely the most exciting part of the Summer and the academic year.

I am very grateful that I was able to get my first field done within the first three weeks of Summer. I counted my hours on Monday and I had over 250+ (direct-- i.e. with student) contact hours, which is absolutely incredible.

Anyways, that's been my life of late. Hope you all have a fabulous day!
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stepping into Summer

A few weeks back, one of my favorite bloggers Meg at Borrowed Heaven announced that she was doing a Stepping into Summer Pairing! So, I was matched up with a wonderful instragrammer named Alyssa! It was amazing opportunity to get to talk with her and hear about her amazing summer. She lives fairly close to me, so its nice having a friend in the area.
Alyssa spoiled me with some gorgeous Target sandals and some cute nail polish! Package swaps are literally my favorite and I have had the best luck with them! I will definitely be stepping in to summer  with style today! Hope you all have a beautiful Tuesday :)

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Friday, June 24, 2016

First Field Done

It's Friday!! After three long and incredible weeks my first field (internship) in Graduate School is officially done! I'm feeling a mix of a motions. To start, I'm feeling grateful for the experience. I learned so much about myself and really grew from the experience. I'm also grateful that my life will kind of return to a more normal work day flow. For example, I won't be waking up every day at 5AM and working until 8PM-9PM! So, I'm feeling really blessed all around today! It is sad to see to see all of the OLs leave and normal RD life return. But, I am ready to get into summer and get back to prepping my building for August!

Today I wanted to share my favorite highlights of Orientation with you all! There were a ton of wonderful experiences, but these next few things were by far my favorite: 

(1) Meet Your Shipmates
When I was first hired on as an intern, Meet Your Shipmates (a 2 hour long session consisting mostly of team building and ice-breakers) did not appeal to me AT ALL! I was nervous about talking in front of 200 students every day and I just didn't think I was cut out for it. Well, after two weeks I can proudly say I am a master facilitator! I loved Meet Your Shipmates at the end of these past two weeks and I mastered how to facilitate it for our incoming students. 
My favorite moment during Meet Your Shipmates by far was the last game we played called Biggest Fan. Basically it is like adult rock-paper-scizzors and all of the students play each other. When you lose, you have to cheer on your fellow shipmate who won! It continues until it is down to two students and everyone is yelling and screaming. Never in my life have I seen so many people laughing, yelling, and smiling while playing rock-paper-scizzors and it was a joy to watch the students bond and share in that experience!

(2) Sunrises and Sunsets
I've always said that my goal in life is to watch the sun rise and set for an entire year. Well, I did it for three weeks straight and I'm not going to lie to you... I don't think I could do it for an entire year! But, watching the sun rise and set was by far a highlight of Orientation. My days might have been long, but they were full of energy and passion!
(3) The Orientation Leaders
We had 30 OLs and every single one of them will hold a special place in my heart! It was an absolute privilege getting to work with so many different student leaders from so many different backgrounds. They are all incredible people and are extremely dedicated. Within the first few days they all became instant friends and it was so nice watching them work as a team throughout these three weeks! I'm proud that I will have 30 more students to say hello to on campus this upcoming year!
I still can't believe Orientation is over. I wish I had played a role in my orientation as an undergrad, but I am really thankful that I got to play such a large leadership and advisor role as a grad. I'll definitely still volunteer my time for Orientation and hopefully my next internship is in the Career Center is just as successful as this one!
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Other Types of First-Year-Student Parents

Last week I wrote a post about helicopter parents. If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you all to check it out. I'm rarely funny on this little blog of mine, so when it happens it is definitely a post to remember (and share). Anyways, while working as an intern with Orientation, I interact with a lot of parents. I thoroughly enjoy this opportunity because (1) I gain essential work experience and get to answer lots of questions (2) I learn about different generations and (3) I get to learn by example of what type of parent I do NOT want to be!

So, today I'm writing about the five other types of parents you encounter while working at New Student Orientation: 

The 'This is My 4th Child Going Through College' Parent 

These parents are literally the best parents for several reasons. To start they aren't overwhelmed with the whole Orientation thing. They will gladly tell you when you greet them that "they have done this before." Most of them would like to play hooky from sessions, but overall they are really relaxed and you can have wonderful conversations with them! 

The 'I'm Just Here for the Food' Parent

I can't decide if these are the best or the worst type of parents! The vast majority of them hang out in the parent lounge and sleep, so I don't get to interact with them much. They are the parents who ask me for phone chargers, which I don't have (but a charging station next year is a phenomenal idea). These are also the parents who stalk the refreshment table waiting for new refreshments to be delivered. Overall, these parents don't ask many question and they are very laid back. It is also nice to see them get hyped over the variety of muffins we have to offer. 

The 'No Schedule Applies to Me' Parent

Woohoo! These parents are by far my ultimate fave, NOT. They are very similar to the "snow plow" parents and are super friendly! I try to understand where they are coming from and put myself in their shoes. But, going up to them asking if they are "lost or need something" is something I dread doing. They usually respond to me with "no, I know where I'm going" and in my head I say "well according to the schedule you're going in the opposite direction." These are also the type of parents who try to break into class scheduling rooms that are marked "NO PARENTS ALLOWED." It wouldn't be Orientation without them so for that I'm grateful!

The 'Give Me The Director' Parent 

Yikes! These are the parents who no matter what I say, I can never seem to satisfy them. Sometimes even if I give them the exact answer they would like to hear, they still find issues with what I am saying and policies in place! As a Grad Intern, I usually work with these parents after the OLs try to smooth any issues out. So, I always approach any interaction with them at sensitively as possible. I often take the mindset of "their issues are my issues!" 

The 'Alumni' Parent

These parents know way more about the institution than our staff members do, so remember that when interacting with them! They are definitely really engaged and love the school (which, is why they encouraged their student to attend their alma mater). Alumni parents are usually really enthusiastic and pumped about being here for Orientation. They are also the most willing to pose for pictures with the mascot and brighten people's day. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

When I'm Not at Orientation

For the past two weeks, I have been working with Orientation non-stop! When you are working 12-15 hour days, you really don't have time to do anything else. Most nights when I get off, I just take a bubble bath and then get ready for bed! Now, I have been loving my first internship. But, it was really nice to get a little break from the hustle and bustle this weekend.

On Thursday, my sister Brooke drove up to visit! This is the second time she has been on the campus that I work/live at and it was really nice having someone in my apartment and a friendly face to come home too. We had an absolute blast and she got a little taste at what her big sister does all day long. She even attended one of the sessions I facilitate "Meet Your Shipmates," which is basically like a giant icebreaker. All of the first year students were really surprised when she said she wasn't a first year student and did not just graduate from High School! 

On Saturday, I had a full 24 hour break from work and Orientation! So naturally, I got to hang out with my favorite guy and we went on various adventures! Josh came up early on Saturday morning and we decided to go for a hike. Hiking has kind of always been a staple activity in our relationship and we really enjoyed the views of this hike. While on the hike, we kept playing a game where we would list out potential life threatening outcomes and then brainstorm ways we would "handle" each scenario. Note to self... don't fall and cut your head open. Because Josh wouldn't "trust strangers to call 911" and would run to the top of the mountain (where we had cell service) to get the life-saving call out (leaving me to bleed out with the strangers lol). 
After we spent the morning and early afternoon hiking, we ended the afternoon with ice-cream and farmer's market dwelling. I also got to squeeze in a baby nap before church! Later that evening, Josh and I met up with his brother, Jonathan and his friend for a little night spent with some mayflies and the Harrisburg Senators. It was my first time attending a Senators game, but it was so much fun. We couldn't have asked for a prettier night and the sunset behind us in the picture below does no justice to the actual beauty that we saw!
On Sunday, I had a lot of household chores to get done and spent a lot of time prepping for this upcoming week. I'm bummed that I didn't get to see my dad for Father's Day (which, is kind of becoming a yearly thing now). But, I look forward to celebrating him on Friday this upcoming week! 
Anyways, that's how I spent my weekend and my only day off from Orientation. I can't believe we only have a week left of program. I'm actually feeling bummed that this internship is just about over. It has been lovely and I feel like I have learned so much!

xoxo.

Friday, June 17, 2016

10 Ways to Tell if You're a Helicopter Parent

I just finished my first week of Orientation and one of the biggest things we train our Orientation Leaders on is how to monitor and provide information to "helicopter parents." I have loved working at the Hospitality Desk, because I have been able to interact with this group of parents so many times and I can practically predict their questions before they even ask them! (I know a very marketable trait). Anyways, today I'll be discussing the 10 easy ways to tell if you are in fact a helicopter parent. Now, before I begin, I will put a little disclaimer in here that this post is merely to add humor to the world of Student Affairs. I am by no means a helicopter parent expert and or an expert on the different generations of folks on and off college campuses!






1. If you start off the conversation with, "I'm not a helicopter parent, BUT" chances are you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


2. If you are walking around (a few steps behind your student) and you notice a buzzing noise (arguably from your helicopter wings), you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


3. If you go to every service center and pick up a brochure from every single table (with the intent of reading, sticky noting, creating a reading quiz for your student, and or highlighting), you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


4. If you stand outside session rooms during Orientation (that are student only) waiting for your student to leave the session room, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


5. If you refuse to leave your student at the student registration line and go into the parent registration line, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


6. If you walk up to the Academic Dean of your student's major and provide them with your email address, cell phone, home phone, and work extension, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


7. If you try to convince your student to sign the third-party-communication-agreement, you might be in fact a helicopter parent. (and if this gave you an idea to do in the future, you might also be a helicopter parent)!


8. If you try to meet other new students in the hopes of finding a suitable roommate for your student, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


9. If you have prepared a list of questions to lead a debrief discussion with your student on the ride home from Orientation, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


10. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be in fact a helicopter parent!


If you are in fact a helicopter parent, please do not feel at all embarrassed by this post. In fact, feel free to write it on your name tag when attending Orientation so that way Orientation Leaders and staff members can safely identify you and answer any and or all questions that you have! If I could give you all one piece of advice, it is okay to be a helicopter parent. However, please remember that college is an opportunity for your emerging adult to learn and grow in a variety of different ways. Please, give them the tools and support needed for this transition and remember to walk at least 30 steps behind your student at all times.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orientation: Week One

Over a week ago, I started my first internship for my grad program with First Year Student Orientation. It has been a crazy week of O-team training. But, I have learned so much and have really enjoyed all of the autonomy and opportunities this internship has come with! To start, we went on a camping retreat and we shared stores and grew together as a team! We have done countless team builders and have really gotten done so much! 
 Most of our days begin at 7AM and go until 11PM. During actual program, our days will start at 6AM and end at 6PM. So, training has gotten all of us used to the lack of sleep and long days! Anyways, my contribution to O-team training was creating an assessment and recognition program. After each department/office session all of the leaders will need to fill out an assessment. The assessment asks basic demographic info and to describe different services that they provide. After I "grade" the assessments, I will then administer different types of buttons that they can collect.

The program went off like a hitch! I'll probably write more about the details in the future... but man I am so happy that the OLs loves it!
 One of my favorite nights during O-team training was folder and parent tote stuffing. We set up several different stations and it was amazing seeing all of the OLs work like a well-oiled machine. I have never seen so many people committed to a task and so focused to accomplish their goal!
And to end the week long training, we took the OLs for an extensive team building day in the sun! It was literally so much fun. We did low and high ropes course and the day flew by. My shoulders aren't exactly thrilled with the lack of sunscreen, but life is good.

Wish me luck on my first day of program! I can't wait to meet students and families. I have never realized how important Orientation is to student retention and it brings me so much joy to play a role in all of this!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Just Love Giveaway

Hi Lovelies! Hope your Tuesday is as beautiful as mine is! I'm currently in the thick of Orientation Leader training and these long days and even longer nights are really testing my positivity. But, whenever I'm craving some introvert time needed to re-charge, I just go home and take a few moments to myself. I am a full believer that my attitude can definitely impact someone's day. So, I put a lot of emphasis on making sure that if I'm going to impact someone's day, I do so in a positive manner. Well, that is exactly what this gorgeous print from Just Love Prints reminds me to do. 

Just Love Prints was created by a wonderful woman, Lindsay who is on a mission to share her Catholic faith through imagery, words, and art. Lindsay founded Just Love Prints in 2012 and her faith-filled masterpieces have provided her so many different opportunities! Her shop and blog are full of inspiring and faithful goodness and I would love love love it if you went over and visited her! 

Lindsay and I first connected a few months back when she was featured in Radiant Magazine, a magazine for young Catholic women. We then decided to partner up and share the mission of Just Love Prints and give you all a taste of her beautiful handiwork! 
I love having a piece from Lindsay's collection in my apartment! Her entire shop is full of gorgeous prints very similar to the ones you see in this post. Today, I'm giving away the Saint Pope John Paul II quote, 'Look to the Future with Confidence' on the blog! This handmade beauty will compliment any room in your home and will remind you to keep gratitude, enthusiasm, and confidence in your life.

It is amazing how God calls us to use the gifts He has given us and to share them with the world. Lindsay is using her gift to share beautiful messages with all of us (and anyone who enters my apartment haha). It is so inspiring to see someone take time out of their busy week to spread the message of God and reminds me that I should do the same. As a Christian who works in a secular (Public university) I often feel like I need to put my faith (and especially conversations about my faith) on the back burner.  But, Lindsay's message reminds me that despite different circumstances you can always find a creative outlook to devote to Him and to live in His goodness!

Enjoy this giveaway lovelies! I can't wait to send one lucky soul one of my favorite prints from Just Love Prints. All hope is not lost though... for my friends who aren't randomly chosen, Lindsay has so graciously provided a promo code for 10% off your order when you use SUNSHINE10. Offer is valid until August 30, 2016) So, hope on over to Just Love Prints and share this giveaway with all of your lovely friends :)

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Monday, June 6, 2016

One Week Later

Woohoo! I'm back again to check in with y'all! Hope you had a beautiful weekend and you enjoy this first gorgeous week of June. I swear it feels like June is trying to be the prettiest and most humid month around. However, I've been loving the Summer showers and spontaneous rainbows! Today, I'll be recapping what I've been up to this past week as my life takes true form as I embark on my first field with New Student Orientation! 

 Over a week ago, Anette, Chris, and I went from being First Year RDs to SECOND YEARS! When did that happen! It feels like just yesterday we were all sitting outside getting to know each other. I'm really grateful to these amazing people and I can't wait to see where our journey takes us! Also on a side note I think orange crushes are going to become my summer signature drink of choice!
 I've managed to see this guy twice over the last week! Both times for spontaneous church and dinner dates! But, hey I am not complaining. It is going to get busy here in a little while and I'm going to miss being able to spend time with my fave guy!
 The New RDs arrived a week ago today and it has been one packed week full of late night talks, dancing, bonding, team builders, expectations, etc. We went on our three day retreat on Tuesday and really got to know each other. I also learned that I am an aggressive go-carter! Who knew? I literally love May retreat and I am sad thinking I only have one more May retreat left as an RD! I'll really have to soak up my time with these fabulous people!
When I'm not with Josh or the RDs I am most likely found making buttons for Orientation training. I'll do a big reveal of my button idea when I give this initiative a test run. But, I must say I could probably make them in my sleep (or at least with my eyes closed -- I tried, LOL).
So, that has been my life! Lots of love and lots of buttons! I'm getting really excited for this upcoming week and I hope you all have a gorgeous day. Stay tuned for a cute little giveaway tomorrow on this little blog of mine :)

xoxo. 
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